Jaundice and its discontents!

SATURDAY, JUNE 20, 2020

Plus, the revolution arrives at the Post:
Should Juneteenth be a national holiday?

We don't have a fixed view on that. That said, everyone suddenly favors that designation. By "everyone," we mean a wide range of public figures who may not actually care.

Yesterday, we performed a minor bit of research. Our effort was driven by curiosity, though it also was fueled by jaundice.

Yesterday, we decided to see if people who are so ardent now had ever said even one word in the past. By "people," we mean certain corporate multimillionaires. That's where the jaundice comes in.

Yesterday, we decided not to post the fruits of our research, intriguing though they were. We'll probably post our results on Monday. But yesterday, we decided to take a step back from our jaundice.

The sources of our jaundice are possibly more than several. They're reasonably well documented—for one such example, see below—and they've been piling up for well over twenty-two years.

Still and all, at some point, jaundice becomes too much. We decided to sit on our findings.

This morning, we stumbled upon a remarkable bit of reporting by the Washington Post. By "remarkable," we mean that it's an example of pure anthropology—anthropology all the way down.

It's an example of the way we humans have behaved all through the annals of time.

We can't necessarily tell you whose behavior was right and whose behavior was wrong in the episode under review. (As a general matter, we believe in staying away from judgment and punishment culture.)

In the end, we can't tell you whose behavior was wrong at all, let alone most wrong. We can tell you that the pattern emerging from this strange news report has obtained all through human history.

It emerged during the French revolution. It emerged during the Chinese "cultural revolution."

It even emerged at the dawn of the west. We think of the remarkable story which ends with Socrates' death.

Just as a basic frame of reference, Socrates seems to have wrong, or at least incoherent, in almost everything he ever said. It isn't hard to understand why some people found him annoying.

Still, the story to which we refer is deeply foundational. As told by Plato in The Apology, the story starts like this:

The oracle at Delphi declares that Socrates is the wisest person in Greece. Because Socrates is sure that this can't be true, he sets out to prove the oracle wrong.

So far, we might say, so good! At this point, we're encountering a type of origin myth about a foundational principle—the refusal to (blindly) accept the statements and judgments of authority figures.

In theory, we still honor that principle, though we routinely honor it in the breach. That said, in this famous origin myth, things went sideways from there.

In order to prove the oracle wrong, Socrates journeyed through Greece, speaking to men [sic] with reputations for wisdom. Since he was sure that he himself knew nothing, he felt sure that one of thrse men [sic] would prove to be wiser than he.

That's when things went sideways. In Professor Lee's translation, Socrates, as quoted by Plato, explains what happened next:
SOCRATES, AS QUOTED BY PLATO: After a long consideration, I at last thought of a method of trying the question. I reflected that if I could only find a man wiser than myself, then I might go to the god with a refutation in my hand. I should say to him, "Here is a man who is wiser than I am; but you said that I was the wisest."

Accordingly, I went to one who had the reputation of wisdom, and observed him
—his name I need not mention; he was a politician whom I selected for examination—and the result was as follows:

When I began to talk with him, I could not help thinking that he was not really wise
, although he was thought wise by many, and wiser still by himself; and I went and tried to explain to him that he thought himself wise, but was not really wise; and the consequence was that he hated me, and his enmity was shared by several who were present and heard me.

So I left him, saying to myself, as I went away: "Well, although I do not suppose that either of us knows anything really beautiful and good, I am better off than he is—for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows. I neither know nor think that I know. In this latter particular, then, I seem to have slightly the advantage of him."

Then I went to another, who had still higher philosophical pretensions, and my conclusion was exactly the same. I made another enemy of him, and of many others besides him.
Having annoyed everyone in Greece, he ended up on trial for his life. This happened at a time of political turmoil, upheaval, unrest.

That was a type of cultural revolution too. At certain times, we the people decide the time has come to silence those who disagree with the group wisdom which has emerged. Also with those who have made mistakes, or who are perceived to have done so.

A similar story, from this very time, was published in Thursday's Washington Post. This peculiar report was very long. It appeared on the front page of Style.

One piece of good news appears in the lengthy report; the target has apparently lost her job. We thought of great revolutions past, but also of Salem Village.

We can't tell you who was ultimately right or wrong in the matter under review. As a general matter, we would advise you to stay away from judgment and punishment culture, though of course that advice could be wrong.

That said, we were struck by the fact that the lead reporter was Marc Fisher. We thought of an earlier remarkable piece, an opinion column from the distant, destructive past.

Let us start by telling you this. We have no doubt that the veteran journalist of whom we speak is a good, decent person.

For ourselves, we would never have commissioned, or published, a report like the one which appeared in yesterday's Post. But these are matters of judgment, and it's better to limit judgment to particular acts, without moving on to condemnations of particular people.

For ourselves, we would never have commissioned or published a report like the one which appeared yesterday. For all we know, Fisher felt the same way, but his editors made him do it.

Whatever! At any rate, we thought back to the opinion column Fisher wrote in late November 1999. A mob was running in the streets at the time. The episode in question ended in many deaths.

At that time, the mob was chasing Candidate Gore through the streets. In the eyes of the mob, he hadn't condemned Bill Clinton harshly enough. For that, he was being pursued.

As part of the larger pursuit, the mob was also was chasing Naomi Wolf.

At the time, Wolf had written three books, two of which had been chosen as New York Times Books of the Year. No matter!

Revolutionary fervor had gripped the membership of a certain guild. And as will happen at such times, there was nothing too crazy for these people to say or to do in support of their fervor.

At the time, the journalist in question was writing a weekly column for the Washington Post's Sunday magazine. In the column under review, he slimed Wolf hard, not failing to mention her troubling hair, and he wrote utterly crazy things about Candidate Gore's unacceptable wardrobe.

In fairness, this particular wardrobe-shaming has been underway for a month at this time. As a matter of basic anthropology, crazy statements grow crazier still as such group actions proceed.

But as a result of this guild-wide frenzy, many people ended up dead in Iraq. And as a result of the concomitant sliming of Hillary Clinton—a sliming which never really ended—Donald J. Trump ended up the White House!

The column in question was barely sane. This is the way it ended:
WASHINGTON POST SUNDAY MAGAZINE COLUMN (11/28/99): [W]hen Al Gore sneaks around and spends $15,000 a month to hire an oddball like Naomi Wolf, a controversialist who campaigns against the tyranny of the beauty culture and then plasters soft-lit glossies of herself and her perfectly teased hair all over the Internet and on her book jackets, we have two choices: We can say Gore's a good man who's been duped by over-eager aides, or we can say this is a man who does not know himself, a man who is unknowable, unreadable and therefore not fit to be president.

A person who makes her living by writing pop philosophy about sex tells a man who would be president of the United States that he must be a different kind of man, that he must be more assertive, that he must wear a brown suit of a sort that is alien to virtually every American. And he says, “Okay.”

To call him unreadable is to be charitable.
Today, these human specimens say that Trump's not fit. They say that because they don't have the intellectual integrity to question his mental health in direct, grown-up terms, using their big boy words.

Back then, they were saying that Gore wasn't fit! As part of the deal, and at no extra charge, they were sliming Wolf as an "oddball."

They were troubled by Gore's brown suit—it was "alien to virtually every American"—but also by Wolf's "teased hair." In our view, the Washington Post has lost its mind this week, but that was also true back then, when that lunatic column was published as part of a much larger action.

Today, our tribe is quite sure of itself. But our sachems said nothing about any of this in real time, and they still won't discuss these past episodes. There's no sign that they ever will.

In yesterday's peculiar report, one piece of very good news obtained—the current target has apparently lost her job. That said, we see many others in yesterday's report who could perhaps be marched through the streets now that the initial target has been taken down.

We're astonished to think that the Washington Post would publish such a report. But as we've told you for the past several years, it's all anthropology now.

This is who and what we are. According to major anthropologists, we're a highly tribal species, with a strong inclination to war.

Our brains are wired that way, they say. We do it every time, they say, leaving you to decide if it's wrong.

105 comments:

  1. "we mean a wide range of public figures who may not actually care."

    Such as Kamala Harris and Cory Booker? I suspect that they do actually care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Conservatives are the ones who believe that liberal support for racial issues are politically motivated and virtue signalling, but liberals don't actually care about racism. Liberals don't believe that. Just conservatives...and Somerby.

      Delete
    2. The idea of a society where black people are treated as equals is such a foreign concept to Conservatives, they think any call for an equal society is performative.

      Delete
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  2. "Yesterday, we decided not to post the fruits of our research, intriguing though they were. We'll probably post our results on Monday."

    Or then again, he probably won't post them at all, now that he's gotten the benefit of imaginary support for a slander against unnamed people (liberals) without the effort of supporting evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "we mean that it's an example of pure anthropology—anthropology all the way down"

    None of these examples are ever about anthropology. At best, they are examples of social psychology. But, never having taken a psych course, Somerby doesn't know the difference. What's more, he doesn't care. Close enough is good enough for him. It is one of those vaguely named social sciences and they're all pseudo, so who cares if you get it wrong, eh Somerby?

    ReplyDelete
  4. "We can't necessarily tell you whose behavior was right and whose behavior was wrong in the episode under review. (As a general matter, we believe in staying away from judgment and punishment culture.)

    In the end, we can't tell you whose behavior was wrong at all, let alone most wrong. "

    This from the guy who was a Harvard Philosophy Major, and thus must have not only taken a course on ethics but compared the ideas of multiple philosophers on the topic.

    But he is unwilling or unable to tell us what he considers right or wrong, even though he WILL put his thumb on the scales and let us know his opinion via tone and word choice, in a plausibly deniable way so that deadrat can defend him from his own obvious opinion, the one he is too callow to state plainly. Because that's the way Somerby rolls.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. via tone

      Bwahahahahaha! Cue the trolls!

      his own obvious opinion, the one he is too callow to state plainly.

      The antecedent of “his” is deadrat, but you might mean it to be TDH. You talkin’ to me? ‘Cause I’m the only one here. But, then, when have I ever refrained from stating my own opinion?

      Because that's the way Somerby rolls.

      And, really, how dare he on his own blog! Have you asked for your money back?

      Delete
    2. No, I mean TDH.

      Delete
  5. Who lost her job, dear Bob? What is this all about?

    Have you finally disintegrated into a typical brain-dead word-salad dembot? Say it ain't so, dear Bob.

    ReplyDelete
  6. "At certain times, we the people decide the time has come to silence those who disagree with the group wisdom which has emerged."

    The story is about Socrates and his search for a wiser man. It is not about silencing those who disagree. It is revealing that Somerby thinks it is. It is not about group wisdom, but about the reaction of an individual person whom Socrates confronted.

    It is about Socrates substituting his vision of wisdom for that of others, then confronting the wise person with his own failures, and whether that feels good to anyone. Socrates did this supposedly to refute the Oracle, but perhaps he was secretly hoping to be acclaimed as the wisest of all, seeking confirmation in the guise of modesty. And when others wouldn't agree that (1) Socrates should be the arbiter of what is wise or not, and (2) that the person others considered wise was not wise at all because Socrates said so, Somerby concludes that people cannot tolerate difference of opinion.

    And Somerby neglects that we only have this story through Plato's eyes and Plato himself was no wonderful thinker. He is the guy who justified slavery by decreeing that some people were born to be enslaved because people are classified into categories that correspond to metals, with gold people being the ruling class and base metals being slaves. And this is the guy who filtered the story of Socrates through his own understanding without any external corroboration of what happened or what Socrates actually thought about it. And then we get it twice filtered through Somerby's understanding.

    The version I've read of this says "I confronted him with his mistakes, whereupon I became odious to him." This has nothing whatsoever to do with lack of tolerance of difference of opinion (note the word "mistake"). It is about people disliking being shown up and the social faux pas of confronting others with their weaknesses.

    But Somerby makes it about free speech and tolerance, which it is not. But this is what Somerby does. He seems incapable of respecting what words and ideas mean to the people expressing them, routinely distorting them to fit his own agenda. He is a user. And when he blames people for not respecting his differences of opinion, perhaps they are only objecting to his lack of respect for their opinions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The story is about Socrates and his search for a wiser man. It is not about silencing those who disagree.

      Psst, Sparky, do ya know what happened to Socrates?

      Delete
    2. Of course I know. But didn't you read what I said? He made himself obnoxious to others on a personal level. That is more of a motivator than simple disagreement. As I said, as described in some translations, he made himself odious by embarrassing others. Somerby has superimposed his own thesis onto a well known story.

      Delete
    3. Of course I knew you knew. The question was rhetorical. Basically saying, “Everyone knows that Socrates was executed for expressing opinions others found distasteful. No one sensible would fail to construe that as anything but silencing someone who disagreed with others.

      But didn’t you read what I said?

      Of course. You claim that the story is “about people disliking being shown up and the social faux pas of confronting others with their weaknesses.” Which is true, as is TDH’s claim that the story is

      a type of origin myth about a foundational principle—the refusal to (blindly) accept the statements and judgments of authority figures.

      A mythic story may have several interpretations. But, as usual, if TDH writes about an interpretation other yours, he must be “distorting” things.

      Delete
    4. There have been too many people throughout history who said unpopular things but were not executed for this story about Socrates to make any sense. He was given the choice, by the way, and chose Hemlock over exile. He may have been a depressive person.

      I have not seen very many retellings of this story that take Somerby's approach. Origin myth isn't generally applied to historical figures. The visit to the oracle happened earlier in his life whereas the Hemlock came at the end (obviously), so what happened in between? TDH's version doesn't make a lot of sense, but instead of questioning Somerby's authority, you try to explain him to me. You could do with a little authority-questioning for yourself.

      Delete
  7. “As a general matter, we believe in staying away from judgment and punishment culture.)”

    Somerby, staying away from judgment:
    “We liberals are the problem now too! We’re lazy and we aren’t very smart. We exude a moral squalor.

    We’re lazy and dumb and our morals are bad.”
    http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-problem-is-us-as-we-liberals-emerge.html

    Judgment is what Somerby does.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "not failing to mention her troubling hair"

    The link to yesterday's report takes you to an article about someone who dressed in blackface at a party in 2018. It is behind a paywall and I do not subscribe to the Washington Post, so I cannot comment on it. But Somerby says it is in the Style Section. That means that things like hair and fashion are relevant.

    The Al Gore article was apparently in the Sunday Magazine, which is not a hard news portion of the publication but frequently has lighter articles mixed in with background pieces.

    Somerby is now claiming that Gore was being trashed by some undefined mob because he didn't distance himself from Clinton. The people I knew considered him a traitor and a prude because he DID distance himself from Clinton. So, I find this revisionist view of Gore and why he was being attacked kind of odd.

    I can see the establishment attacking Gore for being a Democratic candidate. It is true also that they hated the Clintons because they were political upstarts and won the presidency from outside the normal power structure, showing the increasing power of the Southern states (SLC) and grassroots. In this, Clinton won in the same way Jimmy Carter won, but Clinton grew up poor and wasn't a member of Southern aristocracy like Carter was.

    As I remember it, Gore did everything he could to distance himself from Clinton, so it is hard to see why the so-called mob didn't embrace him. I suspect this is a reason invented by Somerby to excuse his friend's failings. Further, I consider Somerby's political judgment to be flawed because he has still never acknowledged the role Comey played in Hillary Clinton's loss, blaming her for being a terrible candidate instead of recognizing what she had to overcome. Given Somerby's belief that Gore lost because of Bill Clinton, I suspect he may be extending his animus to Hillary too, when both Clintons were being vigorously attacked by the right wing, because of their political success.

    Gore didn't lose because of articles about Naomi Wolf. The mob (New England Irish media establishment) may have disliked him on a personal level (ironically, for the same reasons they disliked Clinton, his Southern origins and lack of pandering to them) but Republicans and the corporate establishment took him down, not Democrats (who faithfully voted for him, despite his doing nothing to appeal to them).

    I find myself wondering whether Gore and Somerby ever speak these days. I wonder what fantasy about his pal, Somerby is protecting with this attack on the press. How is his life fused with Gore's such that Somerby has made attacking them such a large part of his life for 22 years, over details that had nothing to do with why Gore lost.

    That other article from yesterday is about complaints over blackface. Somerby doesn't say why it is so terrible, but by associating it with an attack on Naomi Wolf and four-button suits, he implies that it is something trivial. Black face is not trivial to black people. If Somerby wants to use Gore's loss to justify a complaint about an article focusing on someone who thought blackface was OK, he is on the wrong track and displaying his racist side again. The concerns of black people matter, not just their lives. It is not OK for white people to dress up black as a party joke, because of our racial history. Most people understand that by 2018, so when someone does it, there is a message being sent. Somerby thinks this is just as trivial as the fashion-related focus on Gore, thus missing the race-related point entirely. He doesn't get a bye on this, even though it is well-camouflaged behind a paywall, with an obscure link and a promise to talk about it some other time. It is a complaint about liberal intolerance for those who engage in blackface by equating it with the trivial and wrong done to Gore, when it deserves to be considered on its own merits as something that should not happen in a country that cares about inclusion.

    And this is why I think Somerby is a bigot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Black face is not trivial to black people. If Somerby wants to use Gore's loss to justify a complaint about an article focusing on someone who thought blackface was OK, he is on the wrong track and displaying his racist side again. The concerns of black people matter, not just their lives. It is not OK for white people to dress up black as a party joke, because of our racial history.

      Well, black people can all rest easier now that they’re sure you’re on their side.

      You didn’t read the article, but that doesn’t stop you from expressing your performative outrage. And that’s why I think you’re a numptie.

      The article was about the a woman who attended a party dressed as Megyn Kelly in blackface. This was shortly after Megyn Kelly had opined on what Charles Pierce calls “the electric TV machine” how much she missed the good old days when blackface was such pure entertainment.

      This partygoer upset a number of your fellow numpties, but “the message being sent” was mockery of Megyn Kelly’s trivialization of blackface.

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    2. Why then did she lose her job?

      Delete
    3. Are you asking me why the partygoer lost her job? If so, how would I know and what difference would it make?

      Delete
    4. Didn't it say in that article that you read and I didn't? It makes enough of a difference for Somerby to mention it. He'll perhaps tell us more on Monday, but I wouldn't count on it.

      Delete
    5. It isn't any more OK for the "partygoer" to use blackface to mock Megyn Kelly than for any other purpose. Her supposed reason for wearing it is too non-obvious to avoid hurting black partygoers, who are likely to assume that their heritage is being mocked instead. It shows really bad judgment and lack of empathy and that may be why she was fired, not to appease the mob.

      Somerby showed a similar lack of judgment and empathy yesterday when he chuckled over a black man's death (and no, it doesn't matter if he chuckled over the wording or the color of the casket). It was hurtful.

      The point of eliminating racism is to stop people from hurting others because of the color of their skin, their race, or their ethnic or national background. Somerby doesn't seem to understand that. That strikes me as strange given his years teaching black children in Baltimore. But if they were young enough and he were kind to actual people despite his callous writing, perhaps he did no harm to them. But unintentional hurt is not OK, any more than deliberate hurt.

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    6. Anonymous @6:12P,

      Sorry, you’re right. Quarantine fever has made me even more short-tempered and unpleasant than usual. So you can just imagine.

      All the story says is that the partygoer warned her company that WaPo would be running the article, and she reported that she had subsequently been fired.

      If she was fired for her costume, I don’t think what her company did necessarily reflects on her level of culpability for harm. YMMV.

      Delete
    7. It isn't any more OK for the "partygoer" to use blackface to mock Megyn Kelly than for any other purpose.

      It depends on what you mean by “not OK.” For values of not OK” meaning that you collapsed on your fainting couch, then sure. For me, mocking Megyn Kelly is a public virtue.

      Her supposed reason for wearing it is too non-obvious to avoid hurting black partygoers, who are likely to assume that their heritage is being mocked instead.

      It was “too non-obvious” for the two other attendees in the story. Only one of those was black. I’d be hesitant to conclude that most African-Americans wouldn’t get which target was intended.

      It shows really bad judgment and lack of empathy and that may be why she was fired, not to appease the mob.

      Maybe. The company’s reason wasn’t reported and perhaps not even sought.

      Delete
    8. When someone doesn't know that she is mocking Megyn Kelly, the blackface will be on its face insulting to black people. People did get upset by the blackface. How can you justify it given that it did insult people? How many have to be insult? Is 10 too many? Obviously you think 2 is too few. I think setting a numeric criterion is ridiculous.

      I think she may have been fired for stupidity.

      Delete
    9. Once, when I was driving down the street, a woman in a car behind me started honking. I could see her in my rearview mirror, gesticulating. I thought she was angry at me for my driving or impatient and trying to pass me. I was annoyed until she pulled alongside me at a light to tell me that my brake lights were out.

      Don’t like a tale from my biography? Consider this chapter from Trevor Noah’s autobiography Born a Crime. (You can listen to him read it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIQRTOBOKi8.) He relates the story when his music and dance crew — Noah was the DJ — played a gig at a Jewish school in South Africa. Their best dancer was named Hitler, not an uncommon name in South Africa, which during apartheid required all black people to have a European name. Since the education system didn’t teach black students much, it didn’t bother to put the Third Reich in context for black students, and so the name Hitler didn’t mean much to black South Africans. So when Noah’s crew introduced their star dancer with cries of “Go Hitler!” you can imagine that things didn’t go well. The principal pulled the plug on the amps and called the performers disgusting. The principal was angry because she thought the name referred to the German dictator. The performers were upset because they thought the anger was directed at their dancing.

      Who should have been insulted?

      How I felt about someone’s behavior absent an explanation differed from how I felt when I found out what was going on. That’s partly because I’m at least semi-rational. Part of how I responded to the article is the fact that people I don’t know can’t insult me. Another part is that I don’t believe socially hurt feelings rank very high in the order of societal wrongs.

      YMMV, and many others’ do.

      The number of people whose feelings were hurt is immaterial. All I said was that I wouldn’t extrapolate from one black person taking insult to 40 million. You have, and you’re entitled to your own judgment.

      The partygoer may have been fired for stupidity; she may have been fired because her company feared bad publicity; she may have been fired for unrelated reasons; she may not have been fired at all. I don’t know.

      Delete
    10. I haven't extrapolated to 40 million. I said that if one person's feelings is hurt, why would someone do it?

      Delete
    11. Aren’t you Anonymous @10:29P? I’m not going to apologize if you’re not. If you don’t have the courtesy to use a nym, then you’re responsible for my confusing you with your cohort.

      There are a myriad of reasonable explanations for hurting just one person’s feelings. Offense is both given and taken in all four combinations of those events. It’s simply not possible or even desirable to go through life making sure that you never say or do anything that might cause someone, anyone to take offense. Instead, reasonable people take reasonable steps to avoid gratuitous offense. Like wise reasonable people take reasonable steps to deal with their hurt feelings, including weighing the consideration that the offense was unintended.

      Reasonable people also realize that reasonable people don’t always abide by reasonable intentions.

      Delete
    12. It is racist to deliberately hurt someone of another race simply because of their race.

      Yes, people are offended by lots of stuff, but when someone puts on black face in order to make fun of skin color (regardless of the brunt of the joke), then are deliberately hurting people who live in that skin color every day of their lives.

      No one who is black or brown is going to go off the deep end because of such an offense, but neither are we going to say that such offenses are OK because they are minor. It is still racism and it is wrong because it is symbolic of all of the accumulated wrongs that occur in the name of race.

      There is nothing about the situation that suggests wearing black face was unintentional. When someone complains about this kind of slight, it is customary for the white person to say "What's the matter, can't you take a joke?" This is the standard response to all forms of bigotry, whether aimed at Jews, women, blondes, Polish people, or any other stereotyped group.

      Does it really matter which one of us explains the facts of life to you?

      Delete
    13. Does it really matter which one of us explains the facts of life to you?

      I will not be lectured on the facts of life by one as clueless and ignorant as you. I just won’t.

      It is racist to deliberately hurt someone of another race simply because of their race

      Of course. But that’s not what happened here. The partygoer did not deliberately set out to hurt anyone.

      when someone puts on black face in order to make fun of skin color

      But that’s not what happened here. The partygoer did not put on blackface to make fun of skin color. She did it to make fun of Megyn Kelly.

      it is wrong because it is symbolic of all of the accumulated wrongs that occur in the name of race.

      Yes, it was wrong because the partygoer didn’t realize that the fact of wearing blackface would overwhelm the message she intended. And that’s on her. She should have known and she didn’t. She apologized to the host for offending his guests, and she offered to apologize in person to the women she offended.

      No one who is black or brown is going to go off the deep end because of such an offense, but neither are we going to say that such offenses are OK because they are minor.

      But two people, one who is black and one who is brown, did go off the deep end. One of the offended women screamed at the partygoer, who subsequently fled in tears. The screamer then waited for almost two years to call up the host, demand the name of the partygoer, refused the host’s offer to put the two in touch privately, accused the host of racism for not revealing the name, and demanded a public confession for what was deemed an public offense.

      At what depth do you start calling the waters the deep end?

      I’m not saying that it was unreasonable for someone to take offense. I’m not saying that it was unreasonable for someone to confront the partygoer even unto being blunt. But if someone is attending parties thrown by the Washington elite, and that someone can nurse a grudge for two years over an unintended slight during times of police riots targeting black people, then someone needs to check her privilege.

      Do you need me to explain that “fact of life” further?

      Delete
  9. “Yesterday, we decided to see if people who are so ardent now had ever said even one word in the past. By "people," we mean certain corporate multimillionaires. That's where the jaundice comes in.”

    Why should it matter if “corporate multimillionaires” have ever supported naming Juneteenth a national holiday?

    The call to make it a national holiday is coming from the people, and the politicians who have the power to make it a holiday are responding.

    Sometimes things take time to reach a tipping point in public opinion and political will. That doesn’t mean the previous lack of making Juneteenth a national holiday is a sign of liberal hypocrisy, but that is how Somerby portrays it.

    You might as well criticize progressives for taking a hundred years to pass the civil rights acts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The call to make it a national holiday is coming from the people, and the politicians who have the power to make it a holiday are responding.

      Is it? How would you judge that? If we did a survey asking "the people" what "juneteenth" was, how many do you suppose could answer it correctly?

      Delete
    2. About as many as know that Jesus wasn't born on Christmas. Maybe we should get rid of that holiday too?

      Delete
    3. 7:18
      You’re just as capable of looking things up as I am (or am I assuming too much?)

      “Should Juneteenth be an official holiday? Two-thirds of Americans surveyed by Harris Poll think so”
      https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2020/06/19/juneteenth-official-holiday-americans-harris-poll/3221973001/

      “When asked whether they supported companies making Juneteenth a holiday, 66% said they supported doing so, compared to 34% in opposition. Black people and African Americans were more likely than others to support Juneteenth becoming a holiday with 84% in approval. In comparison, 67% of Hispanics responded in support with whites (61%) and Asian or Pacific Islanders (60%).”

      It is apparent that most black folks know what Juneteenth is. When whites who don’t already know what it is are actually informed about what it is, they majorly support it.

      Delete
  10. From a Rawstory article about the racist baby video that Trump tweeted:

    "Trump voters are driven, in no small part, by ongoing and lovingly-nursed grudges over the belief that a “liberal elite” looks down on them and thinks they’re a pack of morons. But the so-called “liberal elite,” no matter how much contempt it may feel for Trump voters, has got nothing on Trump himself, who clearly views his voters as a bunch of expendable idiots."

    Like Trump, Somerby is carefully nursing a sense of grievance against liberal elites. Like the Trump tweet, Somerby is suggesting that the media is fake. Like the Trump tweet and video, Somerby is suggesting that the liberal media is drumming up racial grievance over innocent behavior (in Trump's case, a racist baby, in Somerby's case, blackface in 2018). The Rawstory article says that Trump considers his own supporters to be racist morons, while Somerby tells us outright that we are an unthinking frenzied mob like the Chinese Red Guard because we protest racism but didn't stick up for Gore. He calls us the names that are implicit for Trump, attributing them to humanity and not us individually, but he has no regard for "us liberals."

    There is no way that Trump considers himself to be similar to his followers. Trump actually represents those with wealth, not the voters. Similarly, there is no way that Somerby considers himself liberal. Who does Somerby actually identify with? Maybe Socrates, maybe white Southern males like Gore, maybe the Bernie Bros, maybe white Southern males like Trump's followers. Not Democratic voters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who does Somerby actually identify with?

      Not with the mob, apparently. Which is a good start.

      Delete
    2. Well, he doesn’t identify with the *liberal* mob.

      However, his posts have quite a bit in common with the *conservative* mob views.

      Delete
    3. However, his posts have quite a bit in common with the *conservative* mob views.

      Which of these conservative mob views does TDH support:

      Locking Clinton up.
      Building a wall on the southern border
      Putting children in cages to terrorize asylum seekers
      Committing treason is no reason for impeachment
      COVID-19 is a hoax

      What you really mean is that you disagree with TDH. Either that or you’re ignorant of what the conservative mob actually believes.

      Delete
    4. You cherry picked a few of Trump's views, which are NOT supported by mainstream conservatives but are supported by Trump's tea party mob.

      Try these:

      Professors are puffed up know-nothings who look down on regular people
      Expertise is a hoax
      The media lies to promote its own agenda (fake news)
      Democracy won't work because people are too flawed to participate, so business leaders need to run things
      Women lie about sex in order to get men in trouble
      Hillary is bad and shouldn't have run for the senate
      Women should watch their behavior or they deserve what happens to them, especially if they drink
      Marriage between older men and very young girls is OK if the parents approve (traditional marriage)
      Women shouldn't work as reporters, especially if they graduate from Ivy League universities, because they don't know how to do their job right
      There is too much focus on minor slights among minorities who don't know what real racism is because there is no more racism any more
      Calling conservatives racist or sexist just makes them less likely to treat women and blacks right
      PC culture and cancel culture are out of control
      Black children cannot learn as well as white children because of innate differences in IQ or bad parenting
      When a black man or woman is killed by police they were probably bad people who did something wrong and if you look at details you'll see how they caused their own deaths
      Trump is not really currying favor with the alt-right and he is not a white supremacist
      Integration is bad because it is impossible to achieve and would upset too many white and Asian people
      All Democratic Party candidates are terrible
      Trump should be excused from all wrongdoing because he is crazy.
      Arguments advanced by Republicans to excuse Trump during his impeachment hearing have some merit

      I'm sure there are more. Of course people here who are liberals are disagreeing with Somerby. That's because he is advancing non-liberal ideas. Why should anyone expect liberals to agree with this rot?

      You need to be specific about which conservative mob you are describing. There is more than one, in fact, several. There are the fundamentalist Christians, the Libertarians, the billionaire fatcats, the tea party turned Trump supporters, the mainstream Republican party, and the Q-Anon faddists, and now the alt-right white supremacists. Somerby adds his own incel vibe that is mainly Republican because it aligns with traditionalist and religious views of women, also held by the alt-right. Romney and Bush wouldn't pass your list either but they are conservative, just not Trumpians.

      I have no doubt left out some of Somerby's rants and repetition of more specific talking points, the ones that are more issue-specific.




      Delete
    5. Nobody has been arguing that Somerby supports Trump. Just that his repetition of Republican talking points tends to help Trump's re-election.

      How do Somerby's comments about all of the bad Democratic candidates, especially Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, help liberals? Why does Somerby think Biden is too old but not Bernie Sanders? Why does Somerby watch so much Fox TV (by his own admission)? Why is it that things said by Republicans elsewhere find their way into Somerby's essays? Will we be exposed to Rush's comments when Somerby decides he is giving out facts that liberals need to know too? Why didn't Somerby urge people to vote for Hillary, when every newspaper in the country except Sheldon Adelson endorsed her and all Democrats were uniting behind her? Why has Somerby spent time here predicting that Trump is going to win again? Why hasn't Somerby acknowledged what the Russians did with their hacking, leaking to Wikileaks, and endless attacks on Clinton's emails? Why did Somerby question the collusion between Trump and Russia, Carter Page's guilt, Flynn's guilt, impeachment evidence, and so many other attempts to pin down Trump's wrongdoing, on the basis of Republican arguments?

      Somerby isn't engaging in bumpersticker support -- he is going into the weeds to sow dissension among liberals about the facts of these various current events, each time using ammo gained from Fox News, as if Fox were truth and everything at CNN and especially MSNBC were fake news. How Trumpian is that?

      Delete
    6. Try these: OK, my attempt follows. You’ve just listed your grievances with TDH. Many of your items aren’t “conservative” talking point at all. And few of your claims about TDH even come close to reflecting what he’s written.

      Professors are puffed up know-nothings who look down on regular people

      This is neither a "conservative" nor a TDH view. Conservatives, who have their own favorites, complain about “lib” professors. TDH dislikes a few professors, but he has his own favorites. Harari comes to mind.

      Expertise is a hoax

      "Conservative"but not a TDH theme, and I doubt you can back up this claim. In fact, TDH criticizes editors for assigning stories to reporters who lack expertise.

      The media lies to promote its own agenda (fake news)

      Definitely "conservative," but not a TDH theme. TDH’s criticism is that the media is self-involved, dedicated to non-issues, and obsessed with scandal even if they have to invent it.

      Democracy won't work because people are too flawed to participate, so business leaders need to run things

      I’ve never seen such a thing in TDH. Quote him.

      Women lie about sex in order to get men in trouble

      Are you claiming that the instances TDH cites didn’t happen? I’ve never read the general claim. Quote it.

      Hillary is bad and shouldn't have run for the senate

      TDH has said that Clinton was a bad candidate for President. That’s not what right-wingers say about her; they say she orchestrated murders in Arkansas. Clinton’s time in the Senate would have been covered at the old TDH site. I can’t find any reference there saying that she shouldn’t have run for the Senate.

      Women should watch their behavior or they deserve what happens to them, especially if they drink

      That’s a conservative trope. Quote TDH supporting it. I know he’s said that it’s a bad idea to party blackout drunk with other drunks. That seems fair.

      Marriage between older men and very young girls is OK if the parents approve (traditional marriage)

      But marriage between older men and young adult women is OK, providing there’s no deceit or coercion involved, regardless of what parents think. Do you mean underage girls? Because I challenge you to find TDH endorsing that.

      Women shouldn't work as reporters, especially if they graduate from Ivy League universities, because they don't know how to do their job right

      I don’t think this is much of a “conservative” concern. TDH has cited women reporters by name who don’t have the expertise to their job right. I don’t think you can quote him saying this as a general rule.

      There is too much focus on minor slights among minorities who don't know what real racism is because there is no more racism any more

      That's certainly a “conservative” trope. You can’t find TDH writing such a thing, though.

      Calling conservatives racist or sexist just makes them less likely to treat women and blacks right

      Not a “conservative” line. I doubt you can quote TDH to this effect either.

      PC culture and cancel culture are out of control

      Definitely a “conservative” line. Here’s TDH on PC (11/9/19):

      So-called political correctness: In what struck us as a startling rate of response, 61 percent of Democratic voters said they agree with this statement: "Political correctness has gone too far."

      Additionally, 68 percent of Democratic leaners who didn't vote stated the same view.


      So if TDH thinks PC is out of control, then he’s in good and bad company.

      Black children cannot learn as well as white children because of innate differences in IQ or bad parenting



      Yup, “conservative.” But nothing TDH has ever written, but go ahead, prove me wrong: quote him.

      (con't->)

      Delete
    7. (<-con't)

      When a black man or woman is killed by police they were probably bad people who did something wrong and if you look at details you'll see how they caused their own deaths

      Yup, “conservative.” But nothing TDH has ever written, but go ahead, prove me wrong: quote him.

      Trump is not really currying favor with the alt-right and he is not a white supremacist

      Yup, “conservative” I don’t recall anything like this in TDH, but go ahead and prove me wrong: quote him.

      Integration is bad because it is impossible to achieve and would upset too many white and Asian people

      “Conservative” (except for the Asian part). In fact, I’ve quoted TDH as saying he presumes that less racial isolation is a good thing, so you’re wrong on the “integration bad” part. It’s true that under current law and US demographics, integration in most large cities is impossible. It’s also true that historically it has upset many white people. The Asian part concerns only the SHSAT in NYC.

      All Democratic Party candidates are terrible

      “Conservative” but true.

      Trump should be excused from all wrongdoing because he is crazy.

      Not a “conservative” line. And if Trump is crazy than blame doesn’t accrue because we don’t blame the mentally ill for their condition.

      Arguments advanced by Republicans to excuse Trump during his impeachment hearing have some merit

      The “conservative” line is that the arguments to impeach Trump have no merit. I can’t recall TDH excusing Republican excuses. Please quote him.

      Delete
    8. Here’s an example that shows Somerby’s approach. He didn’t see how Michael Flynn’s interactions with the Russian ambassador truly undermined Obama’s policy of retaliation against Russia.

      So far, that is an acceptable view, if it was arrived at honestly after studying the case and weighing the evidence.

      But Somerby goes on to suggest that liberals who have a different view are either poorly informed or simply engaged in bad-faith or mindless tribalism.

      That is the point where Somerby’s disagreement veers into bad faith ad hominem attacks, and makes him seem to be taking the conservative side.

      Delete
    9. Here’s an example of why it’s difficult to deal with the comments of the Anonymous cohort. You don’t quote TDH. You just tell me what TDH sees, thinks, believes, or suggests.

      Are you talking about the TDH blog entry from 5/14/20, where TDH says:

      According to this fairly conventional summary of the case, Flynn told Kislyak not to retaliate against the U.S. as a result of the new sanctions. As a result, the Russkies didn’t! … That has always struck us as a puzzling though comical story. But these are highly tribalized times, and stories like that will take hold.

      Now, Flynn seems to me to be in violation of the Logan Act here, but that law has been on the books since 1799 and has garnered only two indictments (the last in the 1850s) and no convictions. And, of course, the Logan Act is not the source of Flynn’s legal problems.

      Just as the source of TDH’s criticism isn’t Flynn, but Slate’s coverage of Flynn.

      But maybe you’ve got some other blog entry in mind. If so, which one?

      Delete
    10. We all saw the same TDH writing, deadrat. He does the same thing every day. He starts out with some premise or quote and devolves into a tirade against liberals and humanity, of which journalists are apparently the worst examples, followed closely by women who get drunk at frat parties.

      When Somerby is criticized, you revert to the legalism of TDH's first, reasonable quote in which he calls people good, states the other side of the controversy as a possibility, before launching into his own diatribe against them. And then he widens his attack to include all liberals and then all people. That gives you enough to claim he wasn't talking about all of us, by focusing narrowly on the first part of his argument, to deny he was being critical, by focusing on where he called someone a decent person, or to claim he was engaged in media criticism, by ignoring everything toward the end of each essay, where he excoriates all liberals before moving on to humanity.

      Somerby covers every possibility so there is no point in quoting him, except to orient a reader to which essay you are talking about.

      I remember this silly argument about whether Flynn interfered with Obama's foreign policy. He clearly did, but then you focus narrowly on prosecutions for the Logan Act (which is irrelevant to whether he interfered), then you move on to Slate criticism, which everyone knows is not Somerby's purpose for writing this stuff. No one really cares about Slate.

      But making Flynn seem less venal by calling his prosecution a persecution for actions that were no big deal IS a Republican talking point. Somerby gets to repeat that in the context of his criticism of Slate, and make it seem like liberals have no basis for going after Flynn, confusing the trivial reporting quibble with the Republican technicalities about Flynn's actions. That is Somerby's goal. You will now call this mind-reading since how can I know what Somerby's intentions were. Psychologists figure out intentions from behavior and outcomes. No mind reading necessary.

      And all of these blog entries follow the same format and are defended by you in the same way.

      Delete
    11. [T]here is no point in quoting him….

      This is called playing tennis without the net. You’ve made the following claim:

      TDH didn’t see how Michael Flynn’s interactions with the Russian ambassador truly undermined Obama’s policy of retaliation against Russia.

      and then followed it with a second claim that TDH suggests that anyone who thinks otherwise is operating in “bad faith or mindless tribalism.”

      Is that what TDH wrote or not?

      I asked because I couldn’t recall what TDH had written about Flynn. Your claims seemed odd to me, given that nobody I know thinks Flynn’s discussion with Kislyak in of itself was any big deal. And the discussion isn’t the source of Flynn’s legal problems.

      I found a discussion of Flynn in a TDH blog entry of 5/14/20, and I asked if that’s the one you’re talking about. I can’t be sure because there’s no preamble in which TDH calls people “good,” and there’s no “diatribe” in the blog entry “excoriating all liberals.”

      (The history of the Logan Act isn’t relevant to whether Flynn interfered in US diplomacy, but it is relevant to the fact that violations of the Logan Act won’t get Flynn into legal trouble.)

      I’m not the one “moving on” to Slate criticism. That would be TDH. You claim to know that Slate is just a pretext for TDH because “No one really cares about Slate.”

      Well, sorry, I don’t know what TDH’s deep personal “purpose” is in all this, and neither do you. I know what he’s written, and you apparently do not. Flynn’s discussion with Kislyak don’t make him seem “less venal,” and, as I said, those discussions aren’t the basis for his prosecution, so the blog entry could hardly support the point that Flynn’s indictment was unwarranted.

      That is Somerby's goal. You will now call this mind-reading since how can I know what Somerby's intentions were. Psychologists figure out intentions from behavior and outcomes.

      Psychologist do figure out intentions from behavior and outcomes. Also by careful interrogation of patients. You have none of those tools available to you, which is why I caution you stick to what you do have, TDH’s words.

      Which you won’t (or can’t) state truthfully.

      Delete
  11. 11:36 AM

    "Somerby thinks this is just as trivial as the fashion-related focus on Gore, thus missing the race-related point entirely. He doesn't get a bye on this, even though it is well-camouflaged behind a paywall, with an obscure link and a promise to talk about it some other time."

    Why not stop at saying Somerby misses the race-related point? That assertion is open for discussion. But you promptly shift to what seems (to me)like a red-herring, i.e., to the article being "well-camouflaged behind a paywall," with an "obscure link." Here you seem to blame Somerby for matters beyond his control. Shouldn't you develop your argument for the claim you next make: "And this is why I think Somerby is a bigot"? A case can be made that Somerby, whatever his limitations and preoccupations and personal flaws, isn't anything like a bigot, but such a case should be based on direct analysis of his statements, as opposed to insinuations about whether or not he's trying to pull a fast one, as you seem to say. Perhaps that makes no sense to you, and if so, then I am sorry. Somerby clearly identifies the sort of intellectual short-circuit that results from all-or-nothing name-calling and self-righteous condemnation. Does he engage in the same thing from time to time. That is an argument worth making, although it seems to me his statements are too multifaceted to be so easily categorized. I guess you seem him as too slippery a dude to take at face value. So be it. I've posted often enough here to anticipate that rather little light will result for the discussion, but still we live in hope. So, here goes nothing . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 12:23
      “Somerby clearly identifies the sort of intellectual short-circuit that results from all-or-nothing name-calling and self-righteous condemnation.”

      You mean like this for example:
      “We liberals are the problem now too! We’re lazy and we aren’t very smart. We exude a moral squalor.

      We’re lazy and dumb and our morals are bad.”

      Delete
    2. Somerby understands that racism is unacceptable to liberals. Since he is presenting himself as a liberal here, he cannot come right out and say things about race, the way he would be permitted to do on a conservative blog. So he disguises his criticisms of race-based political activities that liberals support.

      He is coy about the 2018 blackface article. He alludes to the loss of job of the person who presumably worse black face. We cannot check anything he says without a subscription so it is not possible to discuss his remarks (unless you do subscribe).

      This is an example of "cancel culture" which is a right wing term for the mob hounding someone out of their position because of some race-related misbehavior. Conservatives are against it and liberals engage in the vocal public outrage that gets people fired by their employers (who generally do not want to be seen as supporting racism).

      When Somerby talks about a crazed mob and says that humanity is like the Red Guard, he is referring to this kind of thing, albeit indirectly. He doesn't directly state his opinion because he is (1) pretending to be liberal, and (2) never says anything directly or in an accountable way, just generally, diffusely and attributed to humanity, even after talking all around his opinion.

      I am planning to point out Somerby's bigotry from now on, every time he says something bigoted. Since some people here cannot see what I am alluding to, I plan to highlight the examples, and there are many. That seems to have worked with respect to the examples of Somerby repeating Republican memes, so I will try it with examples of race and sex bigotry.

      Some people here will never agree with me. But at least they will see why I am drawing the conclusions I have about Somerby.

      If you start paying attention to it, I am sure you will notice Somerby's evasiveness about directly stating any opinion. He is clearly feeling the strain of repressing his views, as evidenced by his lengthy complaint via Socrates that the mob won't tolerate a difference of opinion.

      Liberals do tolerate differences of opinion. But you don't get to call yourself liberal if you don't hold liberal views. Somerby wants to preserve that privilege, while still expressing views more commonly held by Republicans and conservatives. Life is so unfair!

      Delete
    3. "Some people here will never agree with me" True, as long as everything you come out with is so idiotic.

      Delete
    4. "Somerby understands that racism is unacceptable to liberals."

      You haven't been paying attention, dear dembot. Racism is the basis of liberal bullshit.

      Your zombie cult's goebbelsian propaganda anathemize cops for the single reason: they are "while".

      And your zombie cult's goebbelsian propaganda canonize lowlife criminal thugs into sainthood for the single reason that they are "black".

      If that's not racism, I don't know what is. This is real nazi shit, dear dembot.

      Delete
    5. How many Right-wing accusations are confessions?

      All of them, Katie.

      Delete
    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    7. 12:34 says in response to my point re the intellectual "short circuit" that results from name-calling and self-righteous condemnation:

      "You mean like this for example:
      'We liberals are the problem now too! We’re lazy and we aren’t very smart. We exude a moral squalor.'"

      But what 12:34 ignores is my point that immediately follows: "Does he [Somerby} engage in the same thing from time to time. That is an argument worth making, although it seems to me his statements are too multifaceted to be so easily categorized."

      Therefore, I had already conceded the very point on which 12:34 now focused. I then went on to assert that Somerby's statements are "too multifaceted" to be so easily categorized. But 12:34 insists on his racism/bigotry, defining it in such a way that only one way of examining race is permissible, and every other approach must be, well, racist.

      I don't know if you're same person who expresses impatience with Somerby's tendency to present multiple perspectives on every issue. Does he do this awkwardly, incompletely, with ill humor at times? Sure. So one can pick out an intemperate and garbled statement and say, see, he's a bigot, a fool, a scold. To say that and leave it there is to ignore almost everything else he says.

      I really don't see Somerby giving cover to racists and bigots, folks who tend to see so many things in black and white binary terms. Instead I see him suggesting that we need to be more aware of such binary thinking in our own camp. But many of us will go there anyway, no matter what he says (and says). I fear that we prove his point over and over. I'm not sure what this says about the way ahead for all concerned, and I will allow that Somerby does surrender to the sin of despair, as do I. At least he keeps trying, which is the opposite of despair. I would have given up a long time ago.

      Delete
    8. I see Somerby stating his version of "All Lives Matter".

      Delete
    9. I see Somerby starting his version of "innocent until proven guilty."

      Delete
    10. And Brooks is dead until proven guilty.

      Delete
  12. Jaundice and its discontents...the title is actually "Civilization and its Discontents" by Sigmund Freud. Of course, Somerby's essay has nothing to do with anything Freud wrote. Somerby must be the world's least self-aware man, in terms of insight.

    From Wikipedia:

    "Freud states that when any situation that is desired by the pleasure principle is prolonged, it creates a feeling of mild contentment. Many of humankind's primitive instincts (for example, the desire to kill and the insatiable craving for sexual gratification) are clearly harmful to the well-being of a human community. As a result, civilization creates laws that prohibit killing, rape, and adultery, and it implements severe punishments if these rules are broken. Thus our possibilities for happiness are restricted by the law. This process, argues Freud, is an inherent quality of civilization that gives rise to perpetual feelings of discontent among its citizens." Nothing here that is relevant to today's essay.

    I would have expected him to write about Jarndyce but he probably hasn't read Bleak House.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Racism is not a difference of opinion because racism hurts other people, those defined as being of an inferior race.

    Framing this as a difference of opinion that the mob won't tolerate is wrong because racism is considered morally unacceptable behavior in our country which values tolerance of diversity and "the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" for all citizens.

    Somerby's desire to frame moral outrage as an intolerance of difference of opinion and his unwillingness to state what is right and what is wrong behavior are out of step with liberal values and with the climate of the majority of people in this nation (according to recent polls, which approve of the protests and disapprove of Trump's reaction to them).

    It is good that we are having this discussion because it is important for people to understand that hurting other people in the name of race cannot be tolerated in a free society, just as other violations of morality (murder, asssault, other crimes against persons) are not tolerated.

    We decry racism because we are civilized, and we do not permit the alt-right or our President or anyone else to engage in it, because individual racists are not Socrates and we are not a mob but a society with laws and mores.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What about what happened between the Hutus and the Tutsis? perhaps even worse than what is going on here.

      Delete
    2. Perhaps worse? On what planet do you live?

      Delete
    3. AC/MA -- it isn't clear what parallel you mean to draw.

      In order to justify mass killing, you need to define the target group as non-human. That is what happened in Rwanda, although the genocide there is generally seen as a class conflict rather than tribal (and not racial). Rural and lower class Hutu militias targeted wealthy, privileged Tutsis, Twa and moderate Hutus. The divisions between these groups were made worse by colonialization, with distinctions between tribes sharpened where they had previously been minor. There was a hate-speech campaign against the Tutsi conducted by radio in which the people later attacked were repeatedly demonized, much as the Jews were in Germany (and still are by the alt-right). A radio personality told the Hutu to start their killing spree. Dehumanizing a target group is used to justify what would otherwise be considered unthinkable. The Hutu militias were eventually punished for their crimes. Many Hutu were deeply ashamed of what they had done and didn't understand how it could have happened.

      Delete
    4. Oh please. You know nothing. There's no such thing as "public opinion" in a society dominated by mass media. We've known that all the way back to the turn of the last century, when Edward Bernays wrote Propaganda. In actual fact, few from just two generations back would recognize in any sense any of these alleged "mores" spoon-fed to us by the media, and if the media came out tomorrow and declared the sky red, 65% of Americans polled would effusively agree and dox and fire anyone who said otherwise.

      Delete
    5. So, why then is there a range of attitudes on any survey? Where does that 35% come from?

      Delete
    6. The parallel is that antipathy for people who are different is part of limbic human nature. And it can be way worse than the 'racism' that is now so front and center as an issue. And blacks can do it to other blacks, pretty viciously sometimes.

      Delete
  14. I'm trump/pence all the way. Never been happier

    ReplyDelete
  15. As a recent arrival I must commend you Americans. At other stops along my journey I have been shunned and harassed. In Donald's America I've been welcomed as never before. Lovely people like Mao, David and Cecelia posting on my behalf warns my heart. I love it here so much I think I'll stay awhile.
    Keep owning those fembot. See you in Tulsa!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, so all that fun you had in NY, NJ, CT, MA -- in the nursing homes their governors so kindly opened for you wasn't enough?

      And what about all those looting and riots in the last couple of weeks?

      Delete
    2. Andrew Mario's Son Cuomo must be your biggest fan, eh?

      Delete
    3. NY is now the only place in the nation not seeing increases.

      Delete
    4. The only place? You don't say?

      Sounds like it was a swift and thorough job.

      Delete
    5. ...nah, dembot, you're uninformed. Or lying. Just yesterday there was an increase in NY.

      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/new-york/

      Delete
    6. Mao fag: you have to look at moving averages dumbshit jackoff virgin.

      Delete
  16. Dear Mao what a fine young fellow you are. A true reflection of apple cheeked American youth. See you in Tulsa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mao's rapid-fire responses to Cora Navirus betrays his sense of his own importance as the "king" of village idiots on this forum. How dare anyone sully his foolishness with some tomfoolery of their own! Here in the comments section of TDH, let us stand upon the sacred principle of equal opportunity effrontery! Why should trolls have all the fun?

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your kind words, dear Cora.

      And yet something tells me you may not get there in time: too many nice dembots are still begging for your attention down in Brooklyn.

      Delete
    3. Looks like the Establishment reviewed Mao's "work", and called in Cora to step up the game.

      Delete
    4. I think I met Cora at this great party at Prospero’s place.

      Delete
    5. Was that you in the BLM shirt?

      Delete
    6. Yeah. Bob’s Luxury Motors. Great guy.

      Delete
    7. Remember when you hated black people crying out for equality so much, you had to pretend not only that they were looters, you had to pretend you cared about looting?
      That was so Right-wing of you.

      Delete
    8. Did you even watch that stuff?

      There were as many white looters as black, if not more.

      Grow up!

      Delete
    9. Trump had someone arrested at his rally, just for wearing an "I Can't Breathe" T-shirt. Back in the day, there was respect for the 1st Amendment rights of voters. When Trump does this, he signals no confidence in his ability to convince anyone of his message.

      Delete
    10. I wasn’t at the rally.

      I was outside, with the old man, sipping wine and eating things on Ritz crackers until the wee hours of the morning, but I’m sure there was more to it than a shirt, and would be sure too if were Biden rally.

      Delete
    11. I was at the rally but it was just a simulation.

      Delete
    12. Our Cecelia thinks the woman was arrested for more than wearing a I-Can't-Breathe tee shirt. How adorable!

      No, CeCe, your fascist buddies saw a message they didn't like on the public property that they'd "reserved" for their failed Nuremberg-style rally. They told her to leave and directed the police to arrest her when she wouldn't go.

      Of course, the cops were just fine with that. And so of course are you.

      Delete
    13. "Grow up!"

      And accept that blacks should be treated equally under the law?
      That's the problem with Liberals like Cecelia, they are totalitarians.

      Delete
    14. You are so correct, I won’t be crying over it.

      She went into a secure area and knelt down and started praying, after admittedly coming to the rally to protest and was to asked to leave, but refused.

      Same thing would likely happen to a maga-hatted person making the same scene at a Biden rally.

      You’ve made clear your liberal bona fides despite the Somerby championing for another day. Glad to help out.

      So now I’ll get back to boiling puppies in bleach.

      Delete
    15. “And accept that blacks should be treated equally under the law?
      That's the problem with Liberals like Cecelia, they are totalitarians.”

      This is the internet and as far as you know my next statement could be a lie from the pit of hell. However, I raised by a black couple.

      They too would know you are an idiot.

      Delete
    16. No, the same thing would not likely happen in reverse. Go here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCJTXCWlxaQ to see.

      That’s the trouble with those with a fascist mindset. They think everyone thinks like them. Well, one trouble.

      Puppies in bleach. Children in cages. Ha ha ha ha. Our Cecelia, what a wit.

      Delete
    17. Oh, sure, deadrat. What the guy who wasn’t running against Trump said when the cameras were turned on is the same thing that would have likely happened before the festivities.

      It’s good you defend Somerby, because at least you understand you’re not a wit up to him.

      You need to crush someone, but at least you’ve got the circumspection to see that fact.

      Delete
    18. Keep squirming Cece. The guy who was at the rally when the cameras were on was likely at the rally before the festivities began. 'Cause, you know, that's how time works.

      I don't know what "a wit up to him" means, but if you think it's some thrill to "crush" the Anonymous Ignoramuses in this comment section or fellow travelers like you, guess again. How hard is that?

      At least you've got the circumspection to own what you've bought into.

      Hit me with another cutesy comeback. I think fascism is funny as all get out.

      Delete
    19. On further thinking, I take the circumspection compliment back.

      It’s not circumspection, it’s your need to plague and diminish everyone. Including your fellow liberals.

      Delete
    20. Not worry, Cece, I didn't take it as a compliment.

      Have you met Corby, our professor of psychology? I think the two of you mind readers will get along famously.

      All I do is correct ignorance and faulty logic. Interesting that you consider that a plague. Or that the ignorant and irrational don't diminish themselves by their indulgence in ignorance and irrationality. Maybe you and Corby can discuss it.

      Delete
    21. No, you don’t. You know that too.

      Delete
    22. Keep telling me what I know and what I don't. At least you'll get a cyber high-five from Corby.

      What's the problem, Cece? I'm not "nice" enough for you? I don't applaud your clever little jokes? The time for political niceness has passed. Your party and its enablers taught me that.

      Go ahead, make another animal cruelty joke. I loves me summa those. Just don't explain that you can't abandon Trump 'cause that would mean agreeing with anything any Democrat ever said. I'm not so fond of hearing that shit.

      Delete
    23. You are now appealing with all your might to those same illogical and ignorant people to embrace you.

      You got him, guys! He’s all yours!

      Delete
    24. Jeezus! Cece, WTF are you talking about? Are you so deep into your own head that you think you're actually in mine?

      I don't comment here to appeal to anyone but myself. I always thought my ego was evident from my writing. You think I care whether Anonymous Ignoramuses "embrace" me? How'd you get there? From my expressed contempt for your politics?

      How about a quip about clubbing baby seals? No, better -- clubbing hibernating bear cubs. Your boy just authorized that on federal land. Go ahead; it should be hilarious.

      Whaddya waiting for? Musical accompaniment?

      Delete
    25. Cecelia is a typical Right-wing asshole, who hates that black people are demanding equality. The looted businesses were a red-herring, so she wouldn't have to admit equality for black people is a bridge too far for her.

      Delete
    26. Cecelia is a Republican, clutching Trump as she walks amongst as human. But you’ll have to admit that she wittier than most. You can’t really imagine our Cecelia at a Trump superspreader event, wearing a “Trump Can Grab My Pussy Anytime” sweatshirt and chanting, glassy-eyed, “Lock her up!”

      And while there’s nothing Trump can do that would get his true believers to drop him, Cecelia has an open mind. She’ll disavow her leader just as long as there isn’t a single thing that Joe Biden (or any other Democrat) has done or said that she disagrees with.

      I don’t know who or what our Cecelia really hates or what she will or won’t admit to herself. And neither do you. Stick to what she writes here.

      That’s sufficient unto the day of wrath we’re living through.

      Delete
  17. I can't tell you how disappointed I am. All ready to party in Tulsa and nobody shows up???
    Wazzup up with that America. Keep this up and I might as well head down to Brazil for carnival.
    And clean that spinach out of your teeth, it's disgusting.

    ReplyDelete
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